Hat tip along with my thanks to loyal reader JDB, a fellow military history enthusiast, who kindly pointed out the errors in my post of Tuesday 17 May 2011. He also provided additional information on the subject discussed.
Charles McCain wrote in the post: “The flak system operated by those 900,000 people was comprised of 14,250 heavy guns, primarily the famous German “88”, which fired a shell measuring 8.8 cm in circumference at its base…”
JDB corrected the information as follows:
Charles McCain wrote: “When USAAF B-17s went operational over German Occupied Europe each waist gunner had 200 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition for his machine gun. This was quickly raised to 600 rounds per waist gunner. Who thought of the original load of 200 .50 caliber bullets? Did they have a reason?”
M2 ammunition is packaged in a metal box containing 100 linked rounds. Each box of 100 rounds weighs approximately 35 pounds (16 kg). says this website: http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mg/M2.html.
[Charles McCain adds: JDB’s “M2” is a reference to the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun which was fitted to most American aircraft in World War Two including the B-17. Updated variations of the Browning .50 caliber machine gun continue to be standard issue to US armed forces.]
Charles McCain wrote in the post: “It’s worth noting that the ammunition load on Allied and German single engine fighters in World War Two worked out to an average of six seconds of firing. That was all. If you pushed your firing button and held it down for six seconds you expended all of your ammunition.”
I welcome additions and corrections to posts. If your thoughts are going to be more than a few lines please send them to my email, email@example.com, instead of writing them in the comment box. That way I can respond to you and we can discuss the issue.